October 6, 2020

New York City Arts in Education Roundtable Awards Over 330 Grants from the Arts Educator Emergency Relief Fund

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CONTACT: Kimberly Olsen, kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org 

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable (NYCAIER) recently awarded grants to 337 arts educators as part of the Arts Educator Emergency Relief Fund. Made possible with generous contributions from the New York Community Trust and Booth Ferris Foundation, this fund provides unrestricted grants up to $1,000 to arts education professionals who have been financially hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

“As the convening body for NYC’s arts in education community, the Roundtable is grateful for the opportunity to support hundreds of teaching artists and cultural workers through our Arts Educator Emergency Relief Fund,” says Kimberly Olsen, Executive Director of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable. “However, in this critical moment, we need to keep prioritizing and investing in these essential members of our schools and communities, who are facing disproportional financial impact from the economic downturn. Otherwise, we risk losing vital voices in our schools and communities.” 

NYCAIER received close to 800 applications to the Relief Fund and worked in partnership with 11 practitioners in the field to review applications and select the final grantees. A total of $333,500 was awarded to 337 arts education professionals, 80% of whom identified as Teaching Artists. In addition, 89% of the awardees reported having been furloughed or laid off and 93% estimated their 2020 income to be under $30,000. Over a third of the total granted was to Black arts education professionals as part of NYCAIER’s ongoing efforts to dismantle systems of white supremacy in NYC schools, organizations, and communities. 

“I am humbled and extremely grateful for this generous gift,” said arts educator Cáitlín Burke. “The COVID crisis has greatly impacted my life, I have lost work and loved ones, and as a result, have had unplanned expenses arise. This award is going to greatly help me in my current situation, and I am so grateful to NYC Arts in Education for providing this help to me and other NYC educators.”

Arts educator Kimberlee Walker shared how the Arts Educator Emergency Relief Fund grant helped her secure some very immediate needs. “Like so many people, unemployment insurance had kept me afloat since I was laid off and all of my acting gigs were cancelled,” said Kimberlee. “Before getting the award notification email, I literally did not know how I would pay rent going into October. Now, that is one less thing to worry about.” 

About the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable

The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable improves, advances, and advocates for arts education in New York City. NYCAIER is a community of cultural organizations and educators that shares resources, provides professional development, and advocates for the needs of our constituents and the communities they serve. Founded in 1992, NYCAIER builds our efforts around the value that arts education is a right for all NYC students. NYCAIER produces a major annual arts in education conference, Face to Face; monthly professional development programs;  in addition to ongoing advocacy and communications efforts for cultural organizations and teaching artists in every discipline.

For more information please visit: www.nycaieroundtable.org.